Exactly ten years ago this month, I started a blog. I told exactly no one. Not even my husband. My first baby was six months old. I was working part-time, overwhelmed and tired. I craved connection and community. I wanted breadth of thought and depth of prayer. I couldn't find anything like what I wanted to read. So I decided to write it. I started writing quietly, typing one-handed in the dark, plodding out post after post that no one read. I didn't care; I loved it. My brain started spinning again. After a few weeks I did tell my beloved. After a few months I got brave and shared the blog with a handful of friends and family. I never expected it to amount to anything. Just a place for me to practice writing, to ponder spirituality and parenting, part of my transition from theological studies to new motherhood. Then a funny thing happened along the way. Writing turned into a calling that changed my life. . . . Readers will ask me now how to get started. … [Read more...] about ten years
Two years ago in February, our twin daughters Maggie and Abby were born. As identical twins, they had developed a complication called twin-to-twin-transfusion syndrome. They needed to undergo in-utero surgery to try and save them. The surgery was unsuccessful. The girls had to be born via c-section at only 24 weeks old. Maggie lived one day. Abby lived two. As we have dealt with our grief at our daughters' deaths, we have decided to remember their lives each year by supporting an organization in their honor. This year we're inviting you to join us in supporting the Flint Water Fund of the United Way. When news broke in 2014 of the contamination of Flint's city water and its horrific impacts on the health of Flint residents, I was devastated - but unsurprised. I grew up next to Flint. The Flint River winds through my parents' backyard. Every morning of my childhood, I looked out my window at the river's sparkling (but unclean) waters. So the Flint Water … [Read more...] about remembering maggie & abby: how you can help!
This week we remembered the anniversaries of Maggie and Abby's births and deaths. As I journeyed through the three days, a brutal triduum, I began to see how deepest grief can take the shape of the paschal mystery. Dying and rising. As the first year after loss ends, I find myself turning toward new directions. I will not be writing only honest grief in this space; there are new callings. So as Lent begins, this feels a fitting end to what the last year has been. Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. . . . Birth. It is the beginning of the scar, the longest on my body. The scalpel that sliced through stomach, layers of skin and muscle, to pull two tiny babies into the world. They are too small to cry. But I do, quiet tears streaming down my face. My arms cannot wipe them away, strapped down and stretched out to both sides. This surgery is cruciform; nurses do not tell you that in pre-op. Then again, how could they possibly prepare you? Did anyone … [Read more...] about was it a holy week?
Oh my heart. You brought us so much joy with your love, prayers, and support at our family's big news! Thanks to all of you who sent well wishes our way. I know you will continue to carry us through whatever comes next. Especially during Maggie and Abby's birthday month, sharing the news been a powerful convergence of good and grief, hope and hardness. I hadn't anticipated how difficult it would be to be pregnant during this month of memories, every morning a flashback to how I felt at this time last year. I greet the same dark February dawn after restless sleep, pull on the same maternity clothes, work to keep the same waves of nausea at bay. But our house and my heart are full of reminders that those babies died. That this is another chapter in the story. Which is hopeful and heart-breaking all at once. We anticipated February to be a tender time in our grieving. So we wanted to do something positive as we awaited the girls' first birthday and tried to make … [Read more...] about help us celebrate maggie & abby!